Radio Saint Lucia to officially close by month-end: Fedee

By SNO Staff

Fedee

All formalities and loose ends are expected to be tied by July 31 regarding the closure of the cash-strapped state-owned Radio Saint Lucia (RSL), according to Broadcast Minister Dominic Fedee.

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet had said during a budget presentation in May that the closure was imminent and comes as part of government’s move to reduce debt. The prime minister had stated that over $3 million in losses and hundreds of thousands in unpaid taxes had rendered the station unprofitable. In addition, government has provided subventions of over $400,000 annually to the station, which is not enough to absorb losses.

At a pre-cabinet press briefing on July 10, Fedee said the entire situation is expected to be finalised by month-end and the station will be placed into liquidation. It has been reported that June salaries and phone bills have not been paid.

“We are now working very feverishly to regularise that situation so that we can bring the employees, NIC payments up to date because the station has not been making those payments for many, many years,” he said.

On the issue of compensation for employees, Fedee said, “We have to ensure that we do well by the employees as it pertains to their severance. I have had a meeting with them and we’ve had very frank cordial discussions as it pertains to the range of issues but you know, I’ve never believed that when you are dealing with contentious issues like industrial relations that you can get anything solved in the media. I think what it does is it creates that type of opportunity for there to be a misunderstanding between the two sides.”

“Again, I think that I should be talking to the unions and the employees and not to the press about issues. So I think it’s premature for us to have certain discussions,” he told reporters when questioned further.

Fedee promised a comprehensive media statement by July 31, 2017.

RSL was established over 45 years ago. It became a statutory entity in 1975 and was privatised roughly 20 years ago.

(4)(10)
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20 comments

  1. some ignorant people on here that believe that they have seen the light.
    not everything in govt has to make profit but it must serve a function. that privatisation medicine
    they selling you all from elsewhere in their own country there are multiple govt media and social programmes where they dont make a profit. so please stop being stupid and drinking the koolaid.
    RSL could have been staffed with less people, operations cut back but not closed.

    (5)(3)
  2. And while all this is going on, the Prime Minister is enjoying himself on vacation ! Now, all of you who are brighter than me will comment that he has a right to take vacation and that the country can run without him. I dare you to develop these two points and to bring them to their logical conclusion. And then I want you to think of the many times that you or someone you know have had to defer vacation leave for one good reason or another. Sometimes, a business place even pays a member of staff for his or her leave, because the business place considers it not a convenient time for the particular staff member to take his or her leave. Is it convenient at this time for Chastanet to go on leave, bearing in mind all that is happening ( or is not happening ) these days ?

    (8)(3)
  3. In order to disrupt an inefficient and ineffective venture you have to shut it down. You have to close to rebuild.

    (6)(6)
  4. In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy.

    – 1 Timothy 2: 8

    (7)(19)
  5. Audi Driving Labour Supporter

    You cannot turn the station around. For one, the government has allowed a liberalized media market, and with it a proliferation of radio stations and saturation of the market. Even the private radio stations are having trouble trying to make ends meet. People have radically moved from radio as their first choice for media. Demographically, radio St. Lucia got knocked out of the market. The fact that it was a state run entity with government based content and government choices in management, employees and content did not allow it to keep the large market share it once enjoyed. Think about it...in the 1980s, there were fewer than 4 radio stations on the island. by the ninties is was maybe six. In the 2000s may 9. Currently there are 18 radio stations, appealing to such a diverse slice of the market, there we will be seeing more radio closures. Add in the infiltration of more Television sets, cable tv absorbtion rates, the rise of the internet, the computer, and now mobile and radio St. Lucia was bound to collapse. The media content which was only strictly available via radio St. Lucia, is now readily available on multiple outlets. The media landscape has changed and radio St. Lucia could not keep up. Does the government keep it as a legacy department and keep running a loss making useless entity or does a smart government move with the times and move on. I prefer the later. St. Lucians are always afraid of change. We dig our tires in the same potholes regularly but never call the ministry of infrastructure to fix it. The issues which plague us are easy to notice and fix but we just let them fester. Im loving a large portion of Chastanet's ideas on solving issues. You see the problem, fix it. Try something. Its pretty funny that chastanet, the epitome of the conservative class is the one ready to make the big changes required to make things work in this country. For too long decisions are made based on petty sentimentality rather than realistic logic. It something was created for a purpose and the purpose no longer exists, then that thing should no longer exist. If something no longer works, end it or try something new. The labour party from 1997, received the loyalty of the vaunted middle class, but never changed the country to respond to how that middle class needs the country to work. The middle class is silent. It does not make too much noise. It just votes in record numbers when its time. Chas understands that. If his opponents dont, then they may go the radio St. Lucia way.

    (21)(6)
    • Do you even listen to RSL? You talk about multiple radio stations but most of them are just trash.The standard bearer for information especially stlucia information and while we are at it the government should we just close Ntn as well right? This government has no social conscience. Funny how all these alternatives fail in face of natural disasters: during those times radio is king.

      (9)(13)
    • If 1980 there was 4 radio stations and currently there are 18 radio stations it means radio stations can well make money,and this without a government support of > 1000.- EC daily (400 000.- annual).
      It's a matter of management.

      (2)(1)
    • Very articulately stated.

      While the name was "Radio St. Lucia", it was privately run.

      It has often been opined that truly public radio should be maintained for the purposes of:

      (1) Maintaining and promoting coverage of nation-specific heritage and culture.
      (2) Providing a means accessible by all in the event of emergencies including hurricanes.

      Regarding point (1), where there is a listener / consumer of content for it, other businesses will undertake and fill the gap. If one had adopted the same justifications for not closing RSL based on local programming / cultural needs, stations such as MTV would never have been established --- that to say, larger, non-regionally specific, private stations such as MTV were established but local and emerging music still thrives, worldwide.

      Regarding point (2), technology has long since moved beyond the FM band. The information that was, previously, only accessible on FM, is now widely accessible by satellite radio, broadband, and via cell. Further, as another backstop, there is also amateur (ham) radio, which was recently featured in our local media as having an information session (and, when a hurricane knocks out our electronic backbone, our amateur radio operators temporarily become our fall-back for reaching out to the world).

      (4)(0)
  6. That is not all. There are much more carl-lot en tete to come from this clueless, dictatorial and vindictive bunch. The country without a national mouthpiece is dumb. I hope this arrogant idiot know he can't compare himself to the great man for he was to steer a course in very turbulent waters without the closure or public spat with any of national institutions. If he chastanet was so skilful as he claim to be he would find a way to turn the fortunes of station around. I'm beginning to think st lucia will be left with nothing in chastanet's wake. So shameful.

    (12)(20)
  7. Often revenue losing situations require bitter corrective medicine. When certain institutions continue to be a free for all at the expense of the public purse a serious government moves in to right the wrong. Of course there will be casualties. But isn't that what people vote for? Serious governance or the continued par melay free for all to look good or for votes, of the past.

    In the prevailing world economic environment it is thrift and prudence that will survive. St. Lucians must seriously reflect on our so far not so bad situation. Further mismanagement will only sound the death march.

    (11)(2)
  8. All I can say is Shame...You all preached that you'll were a better bunch to do the job. Instead of trying to turn the station around..so that at least history will say you'll tried, you just shutting down an institution that has been the fabric of St. Lucia for 45 years and to hell with the employees. But you Minister Fedee, busy looking for concessions for Sandals Managers to buy vehicles, people that already have.

    I guess your days at Sandals meant more to you that your days at RSL

    (24)(26)
    • come on dont you see the years this station has built this country in unnecessary debt? thats years of wasting money all the time people are saying the country have money cause look at so many vehicles coming in our country at the warfs and land purchases, people are asking what happens to the money. clearly this is one of the situations where money is going to and nothing interesting that can move the country forward farless for other avenues we dont know about where money is wasted. i am sure that all these millions of unpaid taxes and looses could well be used in purchasing ambulances and police vehicles and equipment for the hospital which is in dire need. just think about that for a second

      (15)(5)
    • Are you thinking with your brain or your a$$

      (5)(6)
    • Turn what around. Sometimes it is better to cut loose and move on. Tax payers now have to foot the bill for the NIC payments. Should we allow another 40 years to accumulate. Shame on all of us for accepting this from our government. Both parties.

      (11)(2)
    • So you're saying tax payers are supposed to continue to fund a radio station that continues to make losses when there are far better options. Are you people retarded? I DO NOT WANT MY TAX DOLLARS WASTED ON NONSENSE.

      The Gov't should shut down as many of those as possible. Let the money go to better use.

      (15)(5)
      • You do not know anything about government. Government is supposed to serve the people and closing down the station is not that

        (10)(18)
        • While closing down all ineffective operations is not the blanket answer, I am not sure you want the government (any government) to raise taxes on us so that they can sustain these inefficient ventures.

          (11)(3)

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